Maybe you’ve found someone great (lucky!) – someone, you find attractive, who is amusing, and who all of your friend’s love.
But after getting to know him better, you have noticed a few things that suggest he may not be as emotionally mature as you are.
This can have a huge impact on your relationship with him and can also put a massive strain on you.
And while it doesn’t always have to be disastrous, it’s always good to know if your partner is emotionally immature.
1. Avoid emotional intimacy.
One of the best things about a healthy, loving relationship is the ability to bond on a deeper level.
You have gone through the introductory phase where softly superficial issues were brought up, and now you have the intimacy and confidence to talk about real life.
Or at least it should be.
If your partner is unwilling to have real conversations or discussions about the things that really matter, they may not have fully grown up yet.
He may make silly jokes while you are trying to discuss something important or repeatedly dismiss the bigger issues that you ask for assistance with.
In any case, he is currently not meeting your emotional needs.
2. He exhibits childish behavior.
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but behaving like a kid, teenager, or student is a clear sign of emotional immaturity.
Maybe it’s silly little things like not tidying up behind you, needing help with simple tasks like laundry, or literally acting like a toddler.
Being with someone who just can’t act like an adult can be incredibly stressful and make you question your relationship with them.
3. He is dependent on others.
If your partner is not good at being alone or is very needy (with yourself, their parents, or a close friend), they may not be as emotionally mature as you are.
Finding a healthy balance of support can be difficult, but when he’s too dependent on someone else you need to think about what’s really going on.
It is exhausting to be with someone who cannot make their own decisions or who refuses to ever spend time alone. If you are the one, he relies on, your relationship will have problems if you never get time for yourself either!
4. He becomes defensive in disputes.
Having discussions and even arguments in a relationship is normal. After all, it would be strange and boring if you all agreed on everything.
However, if the other person becomes incredibly defensive during an argument, this is a sign of emotional growth difficulties.
It’s okay to defend yourself or explain how you feel / why you did something, but most adults can do this without becoming childishly defensive.
If he tries to change the subject or starts blaming you indiscriminately, there is a real problem.
5. He is incapable of commitment.
Whether it’s a long-term relationship, talking about your future, or sticking to nightlife plans, he’s struggling to be engaging.
This is not to say that those who don’t want a relationship are immature – but that maturity comes from making decisions that reflect your real feelings.
If he doesn’t want a relationship, he shouldn’t be in one. If he doesn’t want to meet you for dinner, he shouldn’t accept.
Emotional maturity arises from being authentically yourself – and being honest with what it looks like and what other people’s realistic expectations of you.
6. He disregards your feelings.
Your partner may regularly do things that hurt your feelings – and they knowingly do so.
If he regularly disregards your feelings (more than a few one-off incidents over the years) and seems unable to change his behavior, he is not mature enough for a proper relationship.
He’s too selfish to be with another person and either needs to change or let go of you.
7. He takes no responsibility.
Does he often blame others (including you) and refuse to acknowledge his part in things?
This is a huge red flag.
To be a partner means to acknowledge and stand by who you are. It doesn’t mean that you are perfect and never make mistakes, but that you admit when you’ve done something wrong and actively work to become a better version of yourself.
8. He is unwilling to compromise.
Do you always have to apologize after an argument, even if it started?
Maybe you are always the one who gives in first or lets things slip more often? Do you sacrifice your own desires and happiness more for him than he does for you?
Relationships always mean compromise, sure, but you should both do them equally.
Many emotionally immature people are unwilling to compromise – their childlike, selfish ego disregards any alternative to getting what they want.
9. He’s trying to make you jealous.
Your partner may be into “games” – and not the good way. He may try to make you jealous by texting exes, flirting when you go out, or telling you how hot your best friend is.
It’s not funny or silly, it’s unfair and it’s childish. You deserve someone who doesn’t need to play such games with you and doesn’t even want to.
Emotionally immature people sometimes do this to “test” you or to purposely harm you and make you question your self-worth.
It can be a sign of emotional abuse and is a sign of someone who is inherently unhealthy.
10. It is not related to your life.
If your partner regularly avoids seeing your friends and family, it is a sign that they are not yet fully grown.
He does not want to commit himself to something so important and finds ways to avoid it.
It may be because he’s not confident enough, but neither may he be willing to sacrifice his time for something that doesn’t really work for him or that doesn’t make him happy right away.
11. He grudges your success.
If your partner can’t enjoy your successes without comparing them to their own (or lack of) successes, you are likely dating an immature person.
He should be able to rejoice and support you without immediately seeing it as a personal attack that you are & “better & “than he or that you are more popular, have more friends, earn more, etc.
Whatever great thing in your life it is, celebrate it, not hold it against you.
12. He is not ready to move on.
Does he keep bringing up the same problems or does he exclude you after an argument?
Nobody is a saint, sure, but we all just have to let go of things at some point and move on. It’s okay to still feel the feelings, but it’s not okay to keep expressing them once the thing is done.
If you had an argument about something and then agreed to just close the door and leave it behind, he shouldn’t bring it up again and hold it against you.
If he can’t be an adult and deal with things in a healthy, sensible way, there is a bigger problem here. It is unfair on him to keep feeling guilty, blaming you, or starting an argument about something that you both decided to leave behind.
It’s also unfair for them to shut you out after an argument – sure, everyone needs some space to cool off, but you shouldn’t feel like you’re being “punished” with silence just because your partner is too immature to be an adult to conduct a conversation.
13. He is always the victim.
Do you notice that nothing is ever his fault and that he is always the one wronged?
Maybe he always complains about being mistreated or hurt by others.
That could of course be true. If this is not the case and you know it for sure, he may be stuck in a cycle in which he is always victimizing himself.
This is a symptom of emotional immaturity and indicates that he has some serious self-esteem issues that he needs to work on.
Many people think of problems as victimizing themselves because they want attention and affection – and the best way to get it is to induce compassion in others.
This could be a more in-depth problem related to previous emotional abuse or neglect so this behavior is worth observing and suggesting that they see a therapist.
Emotional immaturity can be due to a number of issues, and while this list is easy to read and judge your partner, it’s always important to keep the context in mind.
There might be some underlying issues that need to be addressed, or it could be that you really need to rethink your relationship with him.
Some people can change and grow, others only do so when they get professional help or do the work proactively.
You have to weigh the relationship – can you live with someone dropping the dirty dishes if they make you happy the rest of the time?
Is it worth it to stick with someone who literally ticks every box on this list or are you just afraid of being alone?
Think about this article, speak to a loved one you trust, and get professional help if you need to talk to an expert about it.